“Do not treat prophecies with contempt.” 1 Thessalonians 5:20
I am absolutely convinced that the Spirit of God is being quenched in more churches today than we care to admit. I think we would all be honest enough to say that none of us believes the Bible is being preached too much today…or obeyed too much today.
We are seeing two things happen simultaneously today. We are seeing the Church (in some ways) become bigger than it has ever been, yet smaller in its influence than ever before. The way we handle God’s Word and respond to God’s Word will determine whether or not we quench the Spirit in our own lives, and in our churches.
The Spirit leads preachers and teachers to proclaim the Word, but He also leads us on how to listen to what is preached. We are to test everything we hear. I am amazed at what a lot of preachers and teachers preach; and I am likewise amazed at what many people who hear it believe. We should test everything by the Word of God. We must ensure that what is being taught from any platform lines up with the truth in Scripture. God’s Word is always the ultimate authority. We must also test what we hear by the Son of God. If there is anything said that contradicts who Jesus claimed to be and what He claimed to do, it is to be rejected. The final test is the Gospel of God. If anything is taught that leads you to believe you can earn a relationship with God, or that you only need to be a good enough person for God, reject such teaching. Nothing should ever take away from the grace and faith of the Gospel.
Do you know what a “dead church” is in reality? A dead church is simply a church where the Holy Spirit has been quenched. It is a church where the fire has gone out. We have likely all been in churches that were cold from the minute we walked in to the minute we walked out. The reason is there was no fire to warm and no light to guide. As I look back on such churches I have visited, I see three common factors among them: There was no celebration of God’s worship, no demonstration of God’s will, and no elevation of God’s Word.
The elevation of God’s Word must be both individual and corporate. As each of us elevates the Word in our own life, it will be greatly elevated in our worship together as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of your Word. I pray that you would help me to elevate your Word in my own life and that your Word be elevated throughout your church body. Amen.